Classic architecture meets forward-thinking design in Stockholm. With 14 islands and over 50 bridges, Stockholm features no shortage of blue water and green parkland to give it a jewel-like shine! Get out and explore the medieval streets of Gamla Stan, or prepare to be awed by the high-ceilinged glamour of its Royal Palace. Modern Stockholm features spaces like the Ekoparken ‘eco-park’ to help it earn its title of the Green Capital of Europe. Relax in a trendy Sodermalm café, browse for books in a quirky second-hand shop, or take a ferry around the islands to admire the view.
If you only have time to explore one island in Stockholm, make it Gamla Stan. This is the city’s famous Old Town, offering a glimpse back into its centuries of history with quirky shops, cosy cafes and cobbled streets. Have a wander through its less-populated back alleys to enjoy the view on the way to the top of the hill, capped with the expansive Royal Palace. Watch the changing of the guard, see the crown jewels or admire the grandeur of the reception rooms and living spaces. The Nobel Museum is also located here in a medieval plaza, well worth a visit!
Many cruise ships dock right in Gamla Stan, putting top Swedish attractions right at your feet! You need only walk a few steps away to start sightseeing. The islands are linked by trams, buses, ferries and a well-run subway, though the city’s actually quite walkable as well. Some ships will dock at Frihamnen instead of Gamla Stan, in which case you’ll need to travel a bit further afield. The ferry terminal is a five-minute walk from the cruise port, or you can board a bus at nearby contemporary art gallery Magasin 3. Taxis are also readily available from both terminals.
The official parking area for cruise passengers is located in Kappelskar, via entrance B. For short term parking, the fee is 10 SEK per hour or 30 SEK per day. There’s a maximum use of eight days, so this may not be suitable for longer cruises. You can reserve your spot in advance, with only SMS and credit card payments accepted. Another option is to use one of Stockholm’s Park-and-Ride facilities, with over 20 to choose from outside of the inner-city area. These offer lower prices and longer-term parking situations. If you wish to park in town, you’ll find garages in the Norrmalm area.
Get your bearings by visiting the Skyview, a glass-walled gondola that takes you up and down the sides of the Ericsson Globe arena. You’ll be treated with sweeping views of the city from the top of this twenty-minute round trip journey. If you’re after a more daring experience, sign up for the Historic Rooftop Tour where you’ll make your way around the top of the Parliament building. Don’t worry – safety harnesses are involved.
Another top attraction is Stockholm’s City Hall, constructed in the early 1920s after the design of a grand Italian villa. From false balconies to fountains, there are loads of lush, romantic details to make this functional space come to life.
Visit Djurgarden to relax in the tranquil greenery of its onsite park and zoo, or view the artwork of the Vasa Museum. This island is also home to the Absolut Art Collection, a fun exhibition of the vodka brand’s iconic advertisements.
Swedish cuisine draws from fresh, seasonal ingredients, as well as its seaside positioning. You’ll find herring and lingonberries to be typical ingredients here! Don’t miss the chance to try the simple yet delicious open-faced sandwiches, with toppings placed on sturdy dark bread. And be sure to leave room for ‘princess cake’ with its layers of jam, custard, cream, and sponge.